Updated 21 May 2017
Special thanks to Cormag Ravenstaff for beta reading this chapter.
Yes, I know. I'm pulling a Legend of Zelda on everyone. For those of you who don't know what that means, I'll explain. The Legend of Zelda series is being released completely out of order chronologically; I say I'm working on Tale 1, then suddenly out pops the prologue of Tale 9B! My reason is that I'm suffering from writer's block and can't seem to get the first chapter right. Now, since I have the Elibian and Ylissean arcs all planned out, I figured why not release something from one of them?
Without further ado, I present to you the opening of Lyn's tale!
Kutolah (formerly Lorca) Territory, Sacae Plains
3rd Day of the Month of the Sage, 979 years after the Scouring, Elibian Reckoning
3rd Day of the Month of June, 979 years after the Schism, Ylissean Reckoning
Lyn, an eighteen-year-old survivor of the Lorca Massacre, sat alone in her hut, reading the Third Book of Athos, a volume of a series of Secondary Religious texts scarcely heard of outside of scholars' circles. She wore a teal cheongsam with yellow lining, a yellow sash and leather fingerless gloves and boots. The only garment she was wearing that was atypical of plainsfolk was a black, short-sleeved turtle neck she kept under her dress. She wore it to cover her neck, as the Lorca diviners Vissario and Novich told her the tattoo-like birthmark she had there was taboo and must be hidden at all costs.
About half way through a chapter, Lyn heard a voice that sounded eerily familiar… just like that of the Taliver's chieftain Batta - the man who murdered her parents and stole their sacred sword which supposedly had been in the family since before the Scouring, or the Schism as Athos called it in his publications.
"Come on boys. If we're to outrun those Lizard Jockeys we better move quickly," Batta said.
"My lord, even if we can outrun them, where are we supposed to hide?" One of his subordinates said.
"The villages around here are not well defended. We should be able to kill their residents and take their clothes as disguises, then camp out in the mountains where Sacae, Lycia and Etruria meet and try our luck there," Batta looked around. Bern's 1st Flight Group, under the command of Wyvern General Vaida, was widely known as the Kingdom's finest. Why the King would send his best after him, the bandit leader had no idea. All he knew was those riders were the most skilled opponents he'd ever faced, and if he was going to have any hope of surviving, he had to get as far away from Bern as he possibly could.
I have to stop them… those monsters will pay for what they did to my tribe. Lyn thought to herself. Burning with rage and full of adrenaline, the nomad rushed out of her tent… only to meet a small army with Batta in front. But that didn't matter. She would make them pay.
"Hey! If you want to get to Lycia, you'll have to go through me!" Lyn shouted, ready to strike. She was met only with laughter.
"Ha! A lone girl versus the strongest fighters in the Taliver Clan? You have no chance, lassie," One of the bandits sneered.
"Hold on… she looks familiar. Ah yes, I remember now! She's that fool Hassar's daughter!" Batta smiled, a malevolent look in his eyes, "The last Lorca, hm? I'm going to enjoy this. KILL HER!"
With loud battle cries, the Taliver clan advanced upon the lone girl, but Lyn was not deterred. She could not understand how, but she was one with her sword. Time seemed to slow as she was filled with unfathomable strength. The first wave of bandits came upon her at a mediocre pace; she felled them all in moments. Then some swordsmen came rushing at her, supported by archers. Lyn used this to her advantage as she positioned herself so the swordsmen were blocking the archers. The bandits attacked her simultaneously, but Lyn managed to leap backwards moments before the swords reached her. The bandits were fast, but Lyn's adrenaline made her faster. Before the swordsmen could ready their weapons for another attack, Lyn decapitated them both in a single swing. The archers quickly began firing, but Lyn managed to predict each arrow and masterfully deflected them with her sword. With all of her energy, she could keep this up until they ran out of arrows.
"Out of breath?" Wyvern General Vaida laughed at the Taliver clansmen who had been left behind due to their fatigue.
"You bitch… even if you get past us, you'll never catch-" The bandit never got the chance to finish his sentence as he was felled by a javelin.
"No one calls General Vaida a bitch! No one!" Heath, chief among her subordinates, shouted.
"Now, now Heath, don't get too excited. Remember your lessons on emotional control!" Vaida jokingly chastised.
"We may not be able to outrun you, but we can certainly overpower you!" another bandit snarled as he and about twenty other archers drew their bows, "your wyverns are no match for our arrows!" At this, the Bernites merely laughed.
"You think so?" Lachius, one of the senior riders, tightened his grip on his lance, "well, arrows are good for piercing wings, but what if there were no wings for you to shoot at?" The Bernites signaled their mounts in Beasttounge, a language they more easily understood, to tuck in their wings and charge the bandits, who dropped their weapons in fear. After mere moments, it was over.
At this point, Lyn had felled about a quarter of Batta's men and wasn't quite ready to give out. Suddenly, a series of roars came from the southeast, distracting the plainswoman. A bandit wielding a black axe noticed her inattention and swept at her legs with the flat of his axe; this served to make it harder for Lyn to dodge. The plan worked and Lyn found herself lying flat on her back. The bandit let out a primal scream as he brought his axe down on Lyn's torso. To his surprise - and Lyn's - the axe had disappeared from his hand and planted itself in his back. The Sacaen girl rolled out of the way to avoid being crushed. She glanced back at the fallen bandit and saw that the axe was glowing red. Shaking off what she saw, Lyn ran toward the next bandit group as quickly as she could. It seemed that all the bandits were worried over the roars, but they surprisingly had the discipline of soldiers and managed to keep their bearings. Lyn, on the other hand, was fueled by unadulterated rage and succumbed to no further distractions. She clashed with the clansmen and eventually caught the eye of their leader, who was growing sick of his men's inability to fell a lone girl.
"Alright, if you fools are unable to kill this one little girl, leave her to me." Batta was a highly skilled swordsman who had once singlehandedly defeated an entire village militia in the Devlinshire Wolds – an autonomous region that took up parts of both Sacae and Bern – so he was not going to let a lowly plainswoman humiliate his soldiers. He rushed at Lyn at seemingly inhuman speeds and disarmed her almost instantly. He proceeded to grab her and pin her against a nearby ger. Two of his guards came and grabbed her by her arms, completely restraining her. Batta's expression was nothing short of cold,
"The last of the Lorca… what a pathetic little tribe you were part of. Before I finish you off, let's have a little fun," a grin crept upon his face as he grabbed Lyn's turtleneck, preparing to rip off her clothes, "heh, heh, heh… let's see if you're as pretty as your mother!" Lyn tried to struggle her way free, but it was futile. However, before the bandit could make good on his intentions, another series of roars filled the air and his guards were quickly felled by javelins. Taking advantage of this distraction, Lyn kneed Batta in the groin, retrieved her sword and prepared to jump back into the fray, only to be stayed by a host of Bernese Wyvern Riders.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" One of the riders - a woman - said. She was wearing heavy red armor on her torso, a red skirt and riding boots that were lightly plated. She had long, flowing gold hair and not a scratch anywhere on her body. In her hand was an ornate spear and a silver axe was tied to her belt. Based on her position, Lyn assumed she was the leader.
"Looks like the last of the Taliver bandits, General," A male rider said. He was dressed head to toe in heavy purple riding armor and had a steel lance in hand and steel sword at his belt. His green hair was quite spiky and had some white streaks in it, and his face was as unscathed as the General's.
"We've been hunting you all for a good month now, and finally our work has paid off." A black-haired male rider said. He wasn't dressed at all like the others; his armor was a bright white with gold lining and had red gems on the boots and at the center of the chest plate. Under his armor was a blue turtleneck and white trousers. He carried a silver lance and an elegant claymore with a stylized eye embossed on the center of its cross-guard. Another unusual detail was his cape; most of the riders wore one, but his was the only one that went past his hips. It was white on the outside and red on the inside, while those of the others were all the color of their armor. The most notable difference, however, was his deeply tanned skin.
"You may have defeated my men, but I think you will find my skill is on par with yours!" Batta gripped his sword quite firmly.
"Oh really," a fourth rider – a woman clad in red armor designed similarly to the second's, laughed, "is that why you and your elites were getting your asses kicked by a little girl?"
"These people aren't even worth our time," a fourth rider, dressed just like the second, rolled his eyes.
"Indeed," the General started, "Galle! Miledy! You two are our youngest and least experienced members. You'll take on this brute, as it will be least humiliating for him. You haven't done too much fighting since Lord Yosef signed you on, so consider this your initiation!"
"Yes, ma'am!" The two novices said. The boy, Galle, was wearing the same purple armor as the other men. His long hair was a deep shade of purple, and despite his age he seemed to have a veteran's discipline. The girl, Miledy, was wearing the same red armor as the other women and had matching red hair. Both knights were wielding iron weapons and indeed seemed to lack the skill of the other members of the squad. The two dismounted and held their weapons in front of them, Galle a sword and Miledy a lance, analyzing their opponent.
"Hmph. I'm ready when you are," Batta taunted.
"Whoever doesn't kill him buys dinner!" Galle smirked as he charged the swordsman with a surprising display of skill. Miledy nodded in acceptance of the challenge and quickly lunged forward as well.
Batta wasn't bluffing about his abilities; he seemed to be more than a match for the two novices, at least at first. What he didn't expect was how well they worked together. Galle and Miledy had coordinated their movements so that Batta wasn't able to do anything other than defend against their blows, at least until Miledy made a mistake. She thrust her lance a little too low and Batta followed up with a roundhouse kick, almost knocking her unconscious. Galle wasn't nearly strong enough to keep up with Batta on his own, but he valiantly struggled and held out as best he could before Batta pulled off an interesting stunt. As Galle thrust at the bandit's chest, Batta positioned his sword so that the spearhead would hit the flat of the blade. The bandit was strong enough to not recoil, but Galle was not. His spear flew backward and he fell flat on his back. It was then that the white knight dismounted and readied his spear.
"You two put up a valiant struggle, but it's time to end this," the knight started, but before he could enter the fray, Galle raised a hand,
"No! I'm going to finish this!" the novice stared into Batta's eyes, giving him the most frightening look he could muster, but this only made the bandit laugh. Galle had planned that, however, hoping to buy time for Miledy to recover and catch him off-guard. The swordsman didn't realize it until he found a lance protruding from his chest.
"Guess you're buyin' tonight, Galle," Miledy chuckled as she withdrew her lance from Batta's corpse.
"Well done, you two," the white-clad rider limbered his lance and applauded.
"Hardly," the general scoffed, "you should have been more prepared for his moves. The fact that you got knocked down at all proves how much you still have to learn."
"Vaida, they're barely of age. Give them time to gain experience," the white-clad rider sighed.
"If I do that, they'll never learn. If they're gonna be in my wing, they're going to have to do a lot better," the general folded her arms, "you told me they were the top of their class at your academy; they should be trying to prove it every day they're with me."
"As Ezra, the headmaster of my academy likes to say, one with no training but ten years of experience is almost always superior to one with no experience but twenty years of training."
"Ironic, considering his position," one of the riders chuckled.
"Um, don't you think we should tend to the girl?" Miledy cut in.
"I suppose. Someone's gotta get her back to her family." Another rider said.
Lyn, meanwhile, was sitting by her hut; her rage subsided and replaced with utter shock at what she just experienced.
"Are you alright?" a green-haired rider walked over to her, "My name is Heath. I'm the sub-commander of our flight group. The bandits we fought here were all that remained of the Taliver Clan. I suppose we owe you our thanks. If you hadn't delayed them, who knows how much farther they could have gone before we caught up with them."
"I… my name is Lyn. It's nice to meet you, Sir Heath."
"I don't need any 'sirs' or 'my lords' from people not under my charge. Just 'Heath' will do quite nicely. Plain and simple Heath," the rider smiled warmly.
"Now, I believe introductions are in order," Vaida grunted and pointed to the others in the flight group.
"I'm Wyvern General Vaida, Commander of this Flight Group. You've already been introduced to Heath, my second. The younglings are Galle and Miledy, and these fine fellows are Isaac, Belminade, Lachius, Stephen, Ermine, Mitchell and Harrison," the riders each bowed their heads when their names were called.
"Finally, the fancily dressed one is Lord Yosef, Duke of Thracia. He decided to accompany us as we hunted down those Taliver rats."
"Well met, Miss Lyn," the white-clad rider smiled.
"Thank you for saving my life. I can scarcely imagine what would happen to me if you hadn't come."
"Well, it's our duty to protect the lives of innocents, regardless as to what country they are from," Belminade said proudly.
"If I may ask, Lord Yosef, why would a nobleman such as yourself accompany soldiers hunting bandits?" Lyn tried her best to hide her disdain for nobility, but found she could not.
"Hey, show some respect, will you?" Mitchell barked.
"There's no need for that, Sir Mitchell. Most Sacaens have… unfortunate misconceptions about noblemen beaten into their heads since early childhood. We should strive only to educate them," the Duke sighed. "To answer your question, Miss Lyn, I was headed to Ninisburg, Ilia's second largest city, to visit an acquaintance and I figured I could take a short detour to practice my lancemanship, especially for such a noble cause… pardon the pun." Lyn could come up with no response.
Suddenly, something started to glow inside of Vaida's satchel. She pulled out a small orb and placed her free hand on top of it.
A Scrying Crystal! Lyn recognized the orb from one of the books she read.
After a moment, the General smiled, "Miledy! It's for you!" The young woman ran up to Vaida, took the crystal and walked away. After she was out of earshot, Yosef walked up to Vaida and whispered, "is it the Academy?"
"You bet!" Vaida responded in kind.
Miledy eventually returned with a wide grin on her face.
"Guys! You'll never believe it! My little brother Zeiss was just accepted into the Elite Academy in Kingsborough!"
"Congratulations! You must be very proud!" The other riders ran up to her to express their excitement, which was warranted; the academies located in the Bernese capital were hailed by many as the best in the continent.
"Indeed. You know, it takes two recommendations from credible officials to even stand a chance," Yosef smiled.
"And when those recommendations come from a Wyvern General and a Duke, there's no way an application could be denied!" Vaida said in her usual, boastful manner.
"You mean… you two recommended him?" Miledy's eyes lit up with joy, and the smiles on Yosef and Vaida's faces widened into full grins. The novice then ran up to the two of them, hugged them tightly and kissed them on the cheek, making everyone blush. She couldn't stop saying thank you.
"Hey, don't go getting too soft on us, you hear?! I can easily rescind that recommendation!" At this, Miledy cleared her throat and regained her composure. Lyn, meanwhile, was incredibly surprised by their kindness; she had always thought nobles and high ranking military officers were pompous cretins, but the Bernites completely crushed her expectations. Her thoughts were interrupted by snorts coming from some of the wyverns, who after looking at the corpses littering the field turned to their riders with pleading eyes.
"It's alright, they're only bandits; enjoy yourselves," Vaida said to them in Beasttounge, causing them to smile and begin their feast.
"If you hadn't struck so low, we would have beaten him a lot sooner!" Galle said.
"I wouldn't have struck so low if you hadn't distracted me with your shouting!" came Miledy's retort.
"Ha! You think I shout a lot? How 'bout you listen to yourself every once in a while?!"
"I grunt every time I put extra force into a blow, yes, but not nearly as loud as you scream."
"Yeah, right. Try telling that to the others! You turn the heads of both friends and foes."
"That's because of my beauty, not my yelling."
"Hey, save it for the bedroom!" Belminade teased.
"Oh come on, you know we're just playin' around!" Galle smirked.
Before the senior rider could respond Vaida called the two novices over with a touch of urgency in her voice.
"Galle, Miledy, report to General Murdock at the Queen's Manse," the general ordered, "leave out no details. When he dismisses you, meet us at the barracks. We should have returned from our next mission by then."
"Yes, ma'am," the two novices flew off; the rest of the Flight Group could hear their banter until they were out of sight.
"Mission?" Yosef raised a brow.
"General Holsey of Fafnir called. He says there's a riot going on in a village and Duke Fafnir ordered my squad to break it up," Vaida rolled her eyes. Her flight group was not meant to be used so lightly, but the Duke's word superseded her own. Yosef nodded in understanding,
"I'm sure you can handle it. Just remember, Lord Tyron cares deeply about his people, so if he even suspects misconduct on your part–"
"I know, I know. I'm just surprised Holsey wouldn't try to deal with it himself; his eyes are fixed on the newly vacant Wyvern General post. I can't help but be suspicious about this whole thing."
"So long as you're careful, I don't forsee any issues. I'd come with you, but I'd like to see to young Lyn's safety, then get to Ninisburg."
"I understand. Will I see you soon?"
"I don't see why we wouldn't. You are stationed at my castle, after all. Oh, speaking of, when you have the time, can you give this to little Narcian?" Yosef pulled a Elysian Whip – a magical item that enhances one's ability – out of a bag strapped to his wyvern and gave it to the general, "I'm willing to bet my entire fortune that he'll be the youngest person ever to become a Wyvern General. He is a prodigy, after all. I'm going to want him to use that as soon as he is ready."
"Will do. Catch you later; don't keep me waiting too long!" Vaida mounted her wyvern, and the 1st Flight Group took off to quell the uprising.
Yosef then walked over to Lyn, "You did great out there. I know I teased them for losing to you, but I did that not to insult your gender or skill; only to insult their pride."
"Thanks, but you should credit my rage. The Taliver… they'd… no matter." Yosef could tell she was trying to hold back tears. "I have no idea how I summoned that skill. It was as if some divine force was guiding my body."
"That means you have great potential, but at the present can only utilize it when you are angry. If you could harness your emotions, you could harness that power. It may prove useful to you some day. Anyway, what are you doing here all by yourself?"
Lyn's expression grew grim, "...I am, err, was of the Lorca."
"Oh, I see. I heard about the massacre a few months back. I know it's small consolation, but I'm sorry. Bern should have dealt with the Taliver long ago."
"Haven't the Kutolah since laid claim to these lands? Why don't you go to one of their villages; I'm sure they would welcome you."
"I have… but… I'm not like most Sacaens."
"Oh? Why is that?"
"My people tend to share knowledge through oral tradition; they have little use for books. I, on the other hand, greatly enjoy reading. When I wasn't practicing my swordsmanship, I was buried in a book."
Yosef pondered this for a moment, then responded, "if you are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, I may have a solution for you. Would you care to accompany me to Ninisburg? After I'm finished there, I can take you to Aquleia, the capital of Etruria. I have friends among the Etruscan nobility who would be more than willing to take you under their wings."
"Would Etruscans really humor a Sacaen?"
"Some, yes. Count Reglay has taken pupils from all over Elibe, and he and I are quite close."
"If that's the case, I would love to go with you, if it would not be too much of an imposition."
"Not at all. First, I'd like to stop in Bulgar to make sure you're well prepared. If there are any belongings from your hut you would like to bring with you, please get them now." Lyn nodded and did as the Duke requested. When she returned, Yosef packed her belongings in his saddle then helped her on; his wyvern was noticeably disquieted.
"Relax, Nowi. She won't be on you for long." Yosef pat his wyvern on her forehead, "Sorry Lyn, she's just a little uncomfortable around strangers."
Reminds me of Huey… Lyn giggled. Yosef proceeded to direct Nowi toward Bulgar, beginning their new adventure.
In game, Yosef would serve as the Jagen-archetype for Lyn's tale, only he'd be a Level 1 Wyvern Lord rather than a Paladin. Similarly poor growth rates, though. He basically looks like an older version of Leif from FE4 and FE5.
The Books of Athos are the Eliminean equivalents of the Talmud.
The Thracia in this tale is different than the one in FE4 and FE5.
Dukedom vs Duchy: I use the term Dukedom, which is rooted in Anglo-Saxon languages instead of only French, because the creators of FE seem to prefer the Anglo-Saxon roots. For example, the Lycian leaders are called Marquesses rather than Marquises.
Yosef's Wyvern IS Nowi from FE13. How can she turn into a Wyvern? Well, Tiki could in FE3 and FE12 with a Wyvernstone; I put Nowi in the Divine Tribe, and Divine Dragons (at least in my rewrite) can use any dragonstone.
Fun Fact: Stalin's middle name was Vissarionovich, so I think you can make an educated guess as to how good or evil the Lorca seers were.
I've basically turned Scrying Crystals into cell phones with GPS systems.
Please share your thoughts in a review; I will try to respond within 24 hours.
If you find any grammatical errors, please notify me I will amend them ASAP.
Be sure to check the full change log on my blog, hammershlag wordpress com.